Papa John’s International, Inc. (PZZA) stock falls, “Hold” rating reaffirmed by Jefferies Group Analysts

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) shares fell in early trading today on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks edged lower Monday, with major indexes retreating from record levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.31% fell 48 points, or 0.2%, to 19,916, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29% lost 5 points to 2,272, a drop of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.03% rose 4 points to 5,529, a gain of about 0.1%.

Analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a Hold rating on shares of Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) in a reserach note to investors, making it one of the more closely watched stocks on Wall Street. With a rating of Hold on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $90.49. The one-year price target of $86.67 is higher than the opening price of $85.76, that has caused a number of other analysts to report on the stock in recent days. Stock prices often trend to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

Yesterday Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) shares last traded at $85.11, which is a decrease of $0.90 from the previous closing price. Opening at $85.76, they varied from $84.88 and $86.03 throughout the day.

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) now has a market cap of 3.14B.

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 533,194 shares out of a total float 27,133,000 and some 36,823 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 46 percent below normal. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use swings in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

However, a single day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Professional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re considering.

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By identifying trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) have ranged from $42.87 – 90.49, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $87.22 and 200-day MA of $78.24. Today’s last price is 5.95%% below the 52 week high of $90.49.

Earnings growth is an important factor to research when buying stocks and investors watch for companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more for a 3 year period.

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